From Duncan Odey
In a hearing today (19th November, 2021), the High Court of Abia State, sitting in Umuahia, issued an order restraining security agencies from deploying their personnel to the court premises each time Nnamdi Kanu’s case is heard before the court. The court also restrained them from arresting anybody who attends the court to witness Kanu’s proceedings.
What prompted the order was that over 100 security agents cordoned off the premises of Abia State High Court at Umuahia at the resumed hearing of Nnamdi Kanu’s human rights Suit against the Federal government and 7 others, which was filed by his special counsel, Barrister Aloy Ejimakor on 7th September, 2021. The suit is primarily aimed at challenging Kanu’s abduction in Kenya and his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.
The matter came up for resumed hearing today before Justice Benson Anya. The security agents were out in strength and blocked all the entry points to the Court house, allowing only court workers, judges, lawyers and a few media people to get through. This reporter is one of the few lucky media people allowed to pass through, as many others were turned away.
It will be recalled that at the two previous hearings of the matter, there was also a sizable number of security agents deployed at the perimeters and premises of the Court, including a large contingent of soldiers.
In making the order, the judge noted that he saw no necessity for deployment of such high number of security agents to the court, stating that in the future, if security agents saw need to deploy to the court, they should apply to the court for permission to do that.
The matter was adjourned to 10th December for adoption of processes and a hearing on the substantive application seeking Kanu’s release from detention and his repatriation to Britain. The early date was insisted on by Kanu’s lawyer, Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, who argued that fundamental rights are special cases that must be concluded on time, especially in this instance where Kanu has been in detention since June this year.
Ejimakor was in court with several lawyers including Barristers Patrick Agazie and Max Ozoaka of Alaigbo Development Foundation.